The Iterability of the Woman Condition: a Derridean Reading of Glaspell’s Trifles

Noorbakhsh Hooti1 & Mohammad-Javad Haj’jari2

 1Associate Professor in Dramatic Literature, Razi University, Iran. E-mail: 2PhD Student, Razi University, Iran. E-mail:

 Volume 8, Number 3, 2016 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v8n3.18

Received April 22, 2016; Revised July 12, 2016; Accepted July 25, 2016; Published August 18, 2016


Derrida defines artifactualities as artificially made norms by institutions and hierarchies which turn into conventions over time in dominating mankind, conventions which must be recognized and dismantled. Every particular event or presence can assume its singularity outside such biased tautology by iterating itself to generate its own specific body of norms in supplementing itself. Accordingly, this study tries to highlight the female logic and the iterability of the woman condition against patriarchal artifactualities in Glaspell’s Trifles (1916). The women of the play illuminate a world invisible to patriarchy, an overlooking gaze blurred by artifactualities. Dismantling the binary opposition of male/female, the play highlights the singularity of females in discussing the truth of its events. Moreover, the women’s aporetic decision in the play not to reveal Minnie’s killing motive is an attempt to defend the female cause and highlight the iterability of the woman condition against patriarchy. Thus, the researchers aim at interpreting Trifles through a Derridean perspective to dig up and open up the stifled woman question against patriarchal artifactualities. Contrasting the collective female knowledge to logocentrism, this study illuminates Glaspell’s attempt at foregrounding the unique sphere of women’s knowledge over patriarchal artifactualities. Glaspell anticipates Derrida’s remarks in turning logocentrism and artifactualities over their heads in favor of the singularity of any phenomena which can iterates itself to proof its unique position outside artifactialities.

Keywords: artifactualities, deconstruction, iterability, Trifles, woman condition

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